Cao Hong said, “When my brother, Cao Cao, heard of the

In a short time Cao Hong, Li Dian, and Yue Jing came

Thus are able people buried!” said Gongsun Zan, sighing. then he continued. “All the highest in the land are now going to destroy the rebellious Dong Zhuo. My brother, you would do better to abandon this petty place and join us in restoring the House of Han. Why not?”

  “I should like to go,” said Liu Bei.

  “If you had let me kill him that other time, you would not have this trouble today,” said Zhang Fei to Liu Bei and Guan Yu.

  “Since things are so, let us pack and go,” said Guan Yu.

  So without more ado, the three brothers, with a few horsemen, joined Gongsun Zan and marched with him to join the GREat army.

  One after another the feudal lords came up and encamped. Their camps extended over seventy miles and more. When all had arrived, Cao Cao, as the head, prepared sacrificial bullocks and horses and called all the lords to a GREat assembly to decide upon their plan of attack.

  then spoke the Governor of Henei, Wang Kuang, “We have been moved by a noble sense of right to assemble here. Now must we first choose a chief and bind ourselves to obedience.”

  then said Cao Cao, “For four generations the highest offices of state have been filled by members of the Yuan family, and their clients and supporters are everywhere. As a descendant of ancient ministers of Han, Yuan Shao is a suitable man to be our chief lord.”

  Yuan Shao again and again declined this honor. But they all said, “It must be he! There is no other!”

  And then he aGREed.

  So the next day a three-story altar was built, and they planted about it the banners of all parties in five directions of space. And they set up white yaks’ tails and golden axes and emblems of military authority and the seals of leadership round about.

  All being ready, the chief lord was invited to ascend the altar. Clad in ceremonial robes and girded with a sword, Yuan Shao reverently ascended. There he burned incense, made obeisance and recited the oath:

Presently Cao Cao said, “It behooves us all to obey the chief we have this day set up, and support the state. There must be no feeling of rivalry or superiority based upon numbers.”

  Yuan Shao replied, “Unworthy as I am, yet as elected chief I must impartially reward merit and punish offenses. Let each see to it that he obeys the national laws and the army precepts. These must not be broken.”

  “Only thy commands are to be obeyed!” cried all.

  then Yuan Shao said, “My brother, Yuan Shu, is appointed Chief of the Commissariat. He must see to it that the whole camp is well supplied. But the need of the moment is a van leader who shall go to River Si Pass and provoke a battle. The other forces must take up strategic positions in support.”

then the Governor of Changsha, Sun Jian, offered himself for this service.

“You are valiant and fierce, and equal to this service!” said Yuan Shao.

He has both strong soldiers and brave leaders.

Submission may bring us amnesty.”

Li Jue was angry at the suggestion,

crying, “Do you wish to dishearten the army?”

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